Reel Life December 2022

  • Taranaki
  • 12/12/2022

Reel Life December 2022

While Taranaki has certainly had its share of rain, our rivers and streams have had only minor freshes since August, and they will be in great condition for angling over the summer break.

The warm, humid conditions are encouraging good hatches of mayflies and caddis.

Green beetle are also on the wing, and the sound of cicadas is increasing in intensity, which all bodes well for the fly fisher.

Spin and soft bait fishing will also take fish, especially when waters are a little discoloured after rain.

All in all, it’s shaping up to be a great period of summer angling.

Above right: A nice summer ringplain brown.

Horizons Regional Council consultation

Horizons RC, as part of their NPS-FW consultation, is asking the public to indicate their top spots for recreation, including fishing, and also what water bodies they consider to be outstanding.

If you have ever fished the Manganuioteao, upper Mangawhero, upper Retaruke, Waimarino Stream, upper Whanganui River, Whakapapa River etc. then please go to the recreation survey and indicate your top spot on the map.

One can type in a location into the text box (e.g. Ruatiti domain, upper Retaruke, Mangawhero River) and then by clicking your mouse move the hot spot location marker to where you want. Click on the links below to have your say:

Lower Patea River Trout Release


Hatchery leader and volunteer Malcolm Hurley releasing a bucketful of rainbows into the lower Patea

On the 14thof December, staff made a trout release of 100 very well-conditioned rainbows into the Lower Patea River at McColl’s Quarry above McColl’s Bridge.

These fish are released at a larger size, so they have a better chance of dealing with the fluctuating flows that occur when the dam is generating power.

We are keen to know of any tagged browns and rainbows or adipose fin-clipped rainbows that anglers have caught or seen in the Lower Patea.

We have only limited data from the previous releases and would be very appreciative of any information.

You can contact the Taranaki Fish and Game office at 06 757 9676.

Use the following link to check out the flows on the TRC’s website – the river fishes best when flows are below 25 cumecs – at the moment, that is in the early morning, but generation patterns can change with lower flows occurring on weekends when power demand is reduced.

Stratford Kids Fishing day another success!

The 25th annual Stratford kids’ trout fishing day was held on the 3rdof December at the Scout Den Pool in Stratford.


Isabelle Ogden with a nice rainbow caught at the Stratford kid's fishing day

Around 70 kids turned up to have a go at catching a trout, with a little bit of help from volunteers and parents.

The day got off to a quiet start until it was realised that most of the 300 rainbow trout released for the event were sitting in the riffle upstream.

Once they were ushered back downstream, the catch rate improved, and there were plenty of happy kids who landed some great fish, but when the sun decided to come out around lunchtime, the trout went off the bite, and fishing became hard.

Thanks to the Stratford Fishing Club and Stratford Lions, no one went home empty-handed with chocolate fish and sausages provided throughout the day.

We would also like to thank all of our volunteer anglers and parents who helped children on the day.

The fresh over the weekend will have allowed fish to distribute themselves throughout the pools in the Patea River along the Carrington walkway, so this area will be worth a stroll.

Waingongoro Juvenile Trout survey


A juvenile rainbow trout caught during the survey

Between the 5th and 8th of December, staff undertook an electric fishing survey of 13 sites throughout the Waingongoro River catchment, looking for evidence of successful trout spawning.

What we were looking for was brown and rainbow trout fry roughly 30mm to 80mm in length to see how successful the 2022 spawning season was.

The survey resulted in a good number of rainbow trout fry caught, especially below the Riverlands/Eltham and Normanby weirs.

Brown trout fry were also caught in the upper reaches of the catchment above Eltham.

Given that much of the trout spawning in the catchment will have occurred prior to a significant flood on 18/19 August, the level of juvenile trout recruitment we found bodes well for the fishery.

The river, especially in the middle and lower reaches, holds some great water with large pools and deep runs that would easily be fishable with fly or spin gear, or a creeper or worm on a bubble float.

Although there is some turbidity in the river below the Tuikonga Stream confluence at Cornwall Road, the water still looks very fishy and the aquatic invertebrate fauna was better than expected.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the team at Taranaki Fish and Game.

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